This week’s Friday Flash is truly flash fiction—something I’ve whipped off late Thursday because I’ve been too busy to do anything and now my guys are using my computer to watch Game of Thrones, so I can’t even do a photo page. But I did have dust bunnies on my mind, due to spending the last 3 days packing books. So here you have it... a 20-minute story.

In the Kingdom of Dust Bunnies

Everyone has heard about the dust bunnies that hold sway under the beds. They are large and fierce, it is true. But the dust bunnies most to be feared are the ones who have build their civilization behind the books on the shelves.
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King Algernon had enjoyed a long and uneventful rule. No one had disturbed the Kingdom of Books for so long that the inhabitants had long since moved beyond the crude dust bunny stage and become sophisticated purveyors of a highly literate civilization. Rather than lurking under a bed, waiting to dodge a dust mop, Algernon lingered over his morning tea and surveyed the town. The light in the Kingdom of Books was diffuse, but adequate to admire the homes his followers had built, not to mention the elegant city hall they would be inaugurating that day.

Algernon had just finished his second cup of tea when Sneezix raced onto the terrace, horror and fear on his dusty face.

“Sire! Sire!”

“What is it, my lad?” Algernon prided himself on his eternal calm, and encouraged his followers to maintain the same. His example had no effect on the excitable Sneezix this time.

“Word has just come from the village of Second Shelf, my Lord.” The courtier stopped to pant, or possibly to gather himself in the face of horror.

“What is it?” Algernon asked again, more impatiently. “Have they a shortage of dust?” His laugh died as Sneezix responded.

“Far worse, Sire! The books have been removed, and the village destroyed. They were helpless in the face of the invasion of the giant Dust Rag, and only a few inhabitants survived to carry the word!”

Algernon leapt to his feet. “We must prepare! Sound the alarms and pass the word to prepare for evacuation!”

Even as he spoke, Algernon felt the change in the light and air. A gap appeared in the city wall, and bright light shone through, blinding the inhabitants.

Within minutes, the Kingdom of Books lay in ruins, the protective wall destroyed, and the deadly Dust Rag swooping low over the panicked populace.

Unable to stop the disaster, Algernon made his decision. He held his ground, defending his people with his own body, in the hopes that some would escape.

The sound of a vast sneeze was the last he heard.

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©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2018
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

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